Summer is slowly winding down, and the kids are back in school, which gives you some time to make sure that your home is ready for the winter. Why worry about it, fall doesn’t officially start until the 22nd, right? Well starting next month, many of us are going to use our furnaces for the first time this season.

Although Fall can be one of the busiest seasons for homeowners preparing for winter, it’s also the best time to take advantage of the moderate weather to repair any damages before the first frost sets in. Here are some home maintenance tasks that will keep your home running in peak condition all winter long:

  • HVAC - vacuum & dust
  • A/C - shut off, clean, and cover until Spring
  • Garden - rake leaves & dispose of mulch
  • Smoke & Carbon Monoxide detectors - check batteries
  • Range hood fan- check & clean
  • Garbage disposal - crush ice (sharpens), baking soda and citrus fruit rinds (freshens)
  • Plumbing - check for leaks on supply lines to sinks and toilets
  • Weatherstripping & windows - check all caulking for separations & cracks, re-caulk
  • Fridge - test door tightness (use a dollar bill and pull it out of fridge after closing the door on it.)
  • Heating - have the heating system serviced (always do in fall)

Most of the tasks listed above are well within the average person's ability. But even if you choose to have a professional handle them, it's worth the expense. You'll save money -- and maybe even your life.

Be sure to check in next month for more tips on how to keep your home in great shape.